macOS Big Sur Review: New and familiar mix

macOS Big Sur Review: New and familiar mix

News and maps

If you use both an iPhone and a Mac, Messaging is one of the most important apps you have on both devices. Fortunately, with Big Source, the news experience is almost identical on the sites. iOS 14 brings new features such as in-line responses, the ability to track conversations, chat group chat tips and custom images, and advanced search capabilities – all of which are on the big screen. For years Apple has been bringing Mac to iOS messages, including a built-in GIF search, emoji stickers and “message effects” (such as sending a message with a confetti or fireworks cloud). So if a friend sends a message with a laser effect from their phone, you will not see the monotonous text description “sent with lasers” on your Mac. It’s the little things.

The Map app has also received some major updates, bringing it back online with what you see on iOS. Google Maps fans won’t worry about these changes, but Apple Maps on the iPhone is actually much better these days (at least in the US). But, like the news, the maps on the Mac have not seen many of the features that Apple has added to its iOS app over the years. Now, they are in perfect symmetry. The biggest advantage is that any “guide” you create on your phone (basically a list of places you save) is also available on the Mac. Previously, maps only allowed you to add places to a “Favorites” list, but having multiple lists was very natural. That way, you can save the places you want to visit on vacation (when we are allowed to travel again, Sigh) Separately from your favorite local places.

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All of those lists are stored in the new sidebar, which includes your home and work addresses as well as favorite locations such as recent searches. The signature also reveals a new map feature by clicking on the search field at the top of the sidebar: Guides. These include third-party managed lists of local locations such as restaurants and best photography locations to try; You can save what you want back. Guides range from trusted sources such as Lonely Planet and The Washington Post to small, specific options such as Photospot and Ultrails. There aren’t a ton of guides yet, but you can find some for most major cities. There are guides from about 20 publishers, and it will continue to grow over time.


Finally, Apple’s “Look around” features, basically the answer to Google Street View, are on the Mac for the first time. It is now only available in “Selected Cities”, but with the speed at which it has recently improved on the Apple Map, it will soon show more detail. Like Apple Map, the company lags behind Google in various areas, so Google Maps devotees will not switch. But these days I like to use Apple Map for turn-by-turn navigation, so I use the app more and more – it’s important to have the same experience on my Mac if Apple is going to shift more users to its site.

Rare and complete

They are great updates, but Apple has developed nipples and duck in many applications. Most importantly, one thing I regret is that I have not tried yet: Privacy labels added to every app in the App Store. They are not yet live, but when they are, you can see what tracking data an application can collect, what personal information is linked to the user, and what data is collected and not linked to your identity. Unlike Safari’s privacy statement, these cards in the App Store are a type you can look at before installing software, so you have a better idea of ​​what a developer can do with your personal information. No matter how hard it is to track, this is definitely a good move. (These cards will be coming to iOS soon.)

macOS Big Sur - App Store Privacy


The Photos app includes new video and photo editing tools, the Apple Music redesigned “Listen Now” experience, the ability to assign reminders to other family members, improved search for notes, and relatively minor updates. . Most of these are features that Apple has included in iOS 14, so it should come as no surprise that they show up on the Mac. Over the past few years in software updates, I appreciate that Apple has focused more on keeping feature packages synchronized across platforms for its core applications.

Another change you may have noticed on the iPhone that is now on the Mac is the optimal battery charging. Apple says it’s learning about how you use your computer and improving charging to prevent your battery from being worn out and torn. In practice this means that the battery charge is 80 percent when the system is plugged in for an “extended period of time” (such as overnight). This ensures that the battery is fully charged during your normal disassembly. I can’t say if this has made any difference to my battery, but I will say that my charging methods on the Mac are less consistent than on my phone, which hits the charger every night. With my laptop, sometimes I’m plugged in all day, and other days I just wander around the house with short charging intervals. But I’m not having any problems because my Mac is not fully charged when I need it, so I run the system now.

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About the Author: Nathaniel Marrow

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Devoted coffee enthusiast. Avid bacon geek. Lifelong internet nerd.

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